JonL-2

IMDb member since September 2000
    Lifetime Total
    5+
    IMDb Member
    19 years

Reviews

Please Don't Touch Me
(1963)

...all that and more!
The first review of this film here accurately relates the juiciness of this freaky film. However, it's so much more. Fans of John Waters will eat this up! From the rockin soundtrack to the bitchy cardboard characters. The 5 minute sidetrek in the early part of the film is this bizarre mondo exploration of the ancient art of hypnotism and firewalking and glass rolling. What this has to do with the film is abstract at best, but it somehow justifies the hypnosis that this poor girl is about to undergo. It's really just an excuse to see some saucy T&A, and some freaky primitive cultures.

One of my favorite characters is Vicky's mother. She is a tight, bun-in-hair pulled back bitch. In a grey suit jacket and skirt, she's manipulative and robotic. She also speaks about herself in the third person "mother think you should get some rest..."

Vicky's hypno sessions are a perfect excuse for some birds-eye overhead shots lingering on her heaving cleavage.

The person who turned me on to Ron and June Ormond films (Monster and the Stripper is another work hunting for), told me they went on to produce televangelist films and videos. Classic.

House of Wax
(2005)

I owe it to the gore
The only difference between wasting 110 minutes at the theater versus 110 minutes at home, is the $6 matinée price. That and you can either get up at the boring parts or fast forward thru it. I overheard the box office employee at the cinema say that on opening Friday night, they sold 17 tickets to House of Wax. Still, it earns its R rating for the gore. Some of the effects aren't too bad, but that's not saying much for this predictable, intellectually insulting piece of pop crap. Nonetheless, the writers and actors waste no time in making you want to know that these teenage boobs get what they deserve (except of course, the dual heroes). Maybe the 40 minute setup is meant to bore you to the point of wanting them to get sliced. My friends did say it was worth $6 to see Paris Hilton get speared.

The Grudge
(2004)

Horrible, not horror
I saw the original Japanese TV versions of Juan and Juan 2, and the theatrical version as well. While Juan part 1 was creepy and nailbiting, part 2 was a little confusing because it rehashes the story of Juan 1 until about mid-way thru, then you see the horrific beginning of the sad and morbid tale. The theatrical release was a merge of the two parts.

Much like the Japanese theatrical, the English language version that opened last weekend is a mesh of the two chapters. For starters, PG-13 says it all. A total let down on what could have been a creepy gorefest. This was on a par with a "butchered for TV" movie. Lots of teases, and no pay off. The original flashback of the murder of the family was brutal. This is warm and fuzzy by comparison.

Also, the fact that Gellar is in it, is indifferent. She has like 20 lines in this whole film. Any no-name actress could have done the job.

This did not have the suspense of The Ring (US Version), and in fact could have surpassed it in terms of graphic content, but it just fell short. Will the DVD release be an unrated version perhaps? They also never explain the disgusting gurgling sound the ghost is making.

Weak all around, please don't make an equally pathetic sequel.

Troy
(2004)

There is a reason epics are scarce
Because only a good one is made every decade or so. This is the most tedious, preposterous piece of crap I have seen in a long time. It raises Titanic to new heights of greatness.

TROY has the feel of a made-for-TV mini-series. Had it been on TV I would have skipped it all together. Pitt is pitiful, he should stick to quirky tweaked out manic weirdos.

His mistress in the film said it best towards the miserable end "How long will this go on?" I kept looking at my watch and one hour into the film it already felt like it had been running nearly 2 hours.

None of the fine actors in this film can save it. Perhaps in a few years it will become a camp classic because of some of the tedious and stupid dialog. This film could have been cut to 2 hours and tightened up. Lots of irrelevant scenes of nothing.

The Matrix Reloaded
(2003)

Free your mind, you are gonna need it.
What can I say? 10:30pm screening, and it's 2hrs 45min movie. Yawn. I mean...yay! The special effects are so good, I forgot just how special they are. Paves the way for the next one...yeah whatever. Fun. Long. Stimulants are probably advisable. I found more pleasure in movie escapism in X-Men 2 than the Matrix. The special effects in X-Men are believable. The special effects in Matrix are just so constant, they are unbelievable. There really isn't any element of surprise, just wow-in-your-face kick-ass effects. The story...well whatever we all know what's gonna happen...it's our destiny.

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
(2002)

A great return for Star Wars. Lucas knows how to have fun!
**(notice: a few spoilers)Star Wars has always held a special place for me. In 1977 my mom took my brother and I out of summer camp early one afternoon to take us to see Star Wars. While I grew out of the obsessiveness with all things Star Wars, the series still maintains a firm hold on my imagination.

Yes, Phantom let me down slighty, as did parts of Jedi in their sapiness. Clones has helped me put the magic of Star Wars back into perspective. I think the movie speaks more of Lucas as a director and person than any of the others. It exemplifies "Saturday matinee serial".

The "film" is overwhelming. I look foward to a second viewing to take it all in. Lucas pays homage to so many genres: Spaghetti westerns, 50's Sci-Fi, and film noir. At times the movie took on elements reminicent of the 40's, with sound effects from propeller planes, as well as the costumes and hairstyles. I loved the diner scene with Obi-wan; definitely an "American Graffiti" moment.

The special effects are seamless, and so fluid. Compared to Spiderman, Lucas has utilised the CGI to much more believable effect. I saw the Digital Light Projection version at the AMC 1000 (the only one in Northern California). I would like to see the film version for comparison. At first was couldn't understand the difference, but soon realised the image is incredibly clear, no glitches, pops, frame drops. The movie was introduced by a manager of the theater explaining that this is how Lucas intended for the movie to be seen. The audio is spectacular too, with explosions that rattle the seats.

I felt that the political aspects of the story were better developed in this episode than in the previous movies. While most of the acting is mediocre, I wasn't looking for or expecting more. Portman is better and more sincere in Clones than in Phantom. Christopher Lee is brilliant; how could he be otherwise. Lucas gives some nice nods to the Hammer films, surrounding Lee with Gothic images and dark effects. I do feel that the original cast of Ford, Fisher, and Hammill had a chemistry that hasn't been repeated in Phantom or Clone. Perhaps it was the newness of what they were doing in the late 70's, having been involved in something that broke so much ground in terms of film. Lucas is not necessarily an actor's director, but a facilitator for an amazing fantasy world.

The movie is filled with foreshadowing, and many references to scenes in the other episodes; especially IV: New Hope. Things can only get darker (and more fun) from here.

The Cell
(2000)

Good Eye candy, flat script and flat acting
I went to The Cell with the expectation of amazing SFX sequences, which it delivers. I won't give up the plot becuase it's already been done here. Safe to say a mild "Silence of the Lambs" meets "Dune" meets H.R. Geiger.

The creepy "Seven" imagery and herky-jerky cuts owes as much to the animation of The Quay Brothers as it does to the grotesque photography of Joel Peter Witkin. Unfortunately even the eye-candy imagery and effects can't save this plodding bore of a thriller. Predictable and uneffective script is only worsened by the flat delivery of the dialogue. It may not be the actor's fault (at least not Vaughn's and D'Onofrio's). I don't know how good of an actor Lopez is as I have never seen "Selena", but she kind of whiny, whimpering in her lines. I also noticed that Lopez keep a good heavy layer of lip gloss going in her "reality" character. I wonder if that helps her out when she's suited up in that rubber suit suspended from the ceiling while psychoanalyzing the killer? One other thing, this film has some rather gruesome images and I wouldn't recommend this for young teenagers or little children, even with the presence of pop "diva" Lopez. I am always surprised when I see parents dragging their little kids to films like this. And of course today, I saw no less than 3 small children (10 or under) at this film with parents. The film features some rather graphic scenes of abuse and murder, get a clue parents.

The Mummy
(1999)

Good SFX makes not one a Mummy
Yawn. Uh, in the land of Pharohs, Mummy's, nubile concubines and buried treasure, can the term uninspired apply? When it comes to The Mummy, the answer is: YES. For sheer mindless entertainment, The Mummy will hold you for a while, but don't expect any return trips to this curse of a flick. Boris Karloff would be rolling in his tomb. Cheers to the great special effects, but I couldn't help but feel I was watching a giant comic. Cheesy one-liner jokes, not-so-subtle jabs at "smelly" Egyptians, and not enough dead corpses in bandages. The Mummy himself regenerates too quickly, I'd rather see him in continual decay throughout the film. Goofy love story subplot, and I'm talking about the "living" characters. Only thing that help my attention was the sexy bald Imhotep (The Mummy pre-embalming and post resurrection) in his loin cloths. The Mummy likes to open his mouth a lot in the movie, whether to release a swarm of flies or a plague of locusts; maybe he needs a check-up. Can't wait for the Saturday morning cartoon.

The Blair Witch Project
(1999)

The scariest film I have ever seen
Literally. Any sense of humor melts away after the first 20 minutes of this film. The perspective of viewing the "footage" as if I was there makes for sheer nail-biting suspense. I was gripping the seat. My friend who attended was clutching his chest. The morning after I felt like I'd had a nightmare. Can my sanity stand to see it again?

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